Saturday, October 21, 2006

Thoughts of Ivory and Red

When our latest customer’s suit arrived this morning, my colleagues thought it had a touch of the Man from Del Monte. I found it decidedly more sinister than that.

Off-white, finely-woven, at first it conjured images of a pleasant, grey-haired man strolling contentedly beneath a hot Spanish sun. The ideal suit, we thought, for wearing at garden parties at the height of summer or for watching cricket on the village green. Just as we were beginning to get lost in these bucolic fantasies, we opened the jacket’s two front panels and our eyes began to reel. Beneath the ivory Del-Monte Man veneer lurked a devilish blood-red lining! No longer were we in any doubt as to this suit’s real nature. Bloody passion clearly boiled beneath what had first appeared serene.

Ivory and red. Ivory and red. The juxtaposition alarmed me. The outer fabric was like a skin, which opened like a gash; it made me think of elephants killed for their precious tusks; the red recalled their blood. I had to pack the suit away and take it to the post office immediately. What fertile imaginations our customers have, I thought, as I watched the parcel being carried away.

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